Theresa Mendoza

January 2010
Class of 2011


I believe this about nursing…“It’s the act of turning caring and meaningful thoughts into actions. Instead of just thinking about helping others, you step forward and you do it.”

Nursing is a God given gift and calling to do His work. Sometimes we wonder how our actions can truly change another person’s life or how can we impact another person to change their life for the better. Just when I least expected it, I found the answer from another nurse during the 13 hour labor and delivery of my daughter. I was in physical and emotional distress, I was scared for my life but most of all, I was scared for my unborn baby’s life. I knew we had to make it- we just had to- but were we? Crazy thoughts run through your mind when you are dealing with life and death, and your child.

My labor and delivery nurse (L&D) nurse held my hand, comforted me and stayed with me long after her shift had ended. Even when the next shift’s nurse arrived, my nurse stayed. She had a real concern to see me through and to see the safe delivery of my baby. I wondered how she could care this much about me- someone she had never met. Didn’t she want to get home to her own family? Whatever compelled her to stay with me, I wasn’t quite sure, but she stayed. Her quiet presence in the room was a source of comfort and strength. I realized God was working in that room. Everyone in that room was meant to be in that room.

My nurse helped me through, and my daughter was delivered just fine, but something else happened. My life had forever shifted. I realized that something greater than ourselves does exist. It’s as if God places us in positions and prepares us for that big moment when we get to step forward and help someone. This is what nursing means to me and I hope one day, when my moment comes, I can care for someone just as my nurse cared for me. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship has influenced my decision to pursue a second degree in nursing because of the Foundation’s dedication to helping build a diverse group of health care providers in our health care system. Through its programs, the Foundation helps to reassure that all Americans are receiving fair access to affordable health care. RWJF pulls from diverse groups and individuals to help achieve this goal. Diversity is essential in making sure there is equity. I believe this is especially important in nursing since our primary role is to be advocates for our patients.